July 18 (Bloomberg) -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s final revision to proposed governance changes gives more clarity on autonomy for the five biggest conferences and to involvement of student-athletes in decision-making.
The NCAA made the changes after receiving feedback from member schools and conferences. The overhaul will go to a final vote on Aug. 7.
“It shows a clear commitment to support student-athletes and allow them not only a place at the table but a voice in the process,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said today in an e-mailed release.
The changes are being proposed at a time when the NCAA is battling lawsuits over the use of players’ images and for alleged antitrust violations, while Northwestern football players are trying to form the first union in college sports.
If the rule changes are accepted, the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences could start making autonomous decisions within their own group as early as January, according to the release.
In current broadcast contracts alone, the Indianapolis-based NCAA and its five richest conferences are guaranteed more than $31 billion. That doesn’t include other sources of revenue such as sponsorship, merchandise sales, ticket sales and booster donations.
One of the biggest changes to the original proposal is the expansion of the Council, which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Division I. Two faculty representatives were added to a group comprised mainly of university athletic directors and a pair of student athletes.
Athletic directors from the five major conferences will have 37.5 percent of the vote on the Council. The student-athletes and faculty representative will have 3.1 percent each.
Prior to the vote next month by the Division I board of directors, the NCAA will reach out to university presidents to further discuss and explain the reasoning behind the proposed changes.
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